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Snapshot Review: ‘The Fate of the Furious’

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS 

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Photo courtesy of EPK.TV

Critical Rating: 2 stars (out of four)

Rated: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content and language

Directed by: F. Gary Gray (“Straight Outta Compton,” “The Italian Job”)

Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Charlize Theron, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kurt Russel, Luke Evans

Story snapshot: Dominic “Dom” Torretto (Vin Diesel) finds himself working against his own team. Because Dom is such a fearsome opponent, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Tej (Tyrese Gibson) and the rest of the crew take on an unlikely partner, their one-time enemy Deckard (Jason Statham).

The scoop: Like all the “Fast & Furious” films, “Fate of the Furious” is big, dumb fun. Plot holes? Yeah, it’s got ’em. Great acting? Not so much. Of course, fans of this franchise don’t queue up for witty dialogue and philosophical ideas. Mostly, they want to see fast cars do impossible things. And … there’s plenty of that. Since it’s in the trailer, it’s no spoiler to note that one sequence features a tank, a nuclear submarine and a Lamborghini. “Fate of the Furious” is not a good movie, but it moves like lightning, and it’s hard not to smile at the goofiness. In other words, see it if you liked the first seven pictures. Avoid it at all costs if you didn’t.

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Video Verdict: ‘Despicable Me 2,’ ‘Fast & Furious 6’

Despicable Me 2 - HorizontalTwo big-budget sequels anchor this week’s home video releases.

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Snapshot Reviews: ‘Fast & Furious 6’ and ‘Epic’

"Fast & Furious 6" makes its way into theaters today (May 24).

“Fast & Furious 6” makes its way into theaters today (May 24).

I’m introducing a new feature here at ForrestHartman.com: Snapshot reviews. Please note that I will still write long-form critiques for my Video Verdict column. These are designed to give readers a quick assessment of new movies. Hopefully you find them useful and fun.

FAST & FURIOUS 6

2½ stars
Story: Dominic Toretto and his crew team with U.S. agent Hobbs in order to capture a dangerous mercenary who is at skilled at motorized hijackings as they used to be. Sweetening the pot is the apparent appearance of Dom’s longtime love, Letty, a woman the whole crew thought was dead.
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and Gina Carano.
Directed by: Justin Lin (“Better Luck Tomorrow,” “Fast Five”)
Bottom line: The plotting is ridiculous and the dialogue is melodramatic, but the stunts are as good as they get.

EPIC

3½ stars
Story: Animated film about a teen girl who discovers a tiny world of forest creatures engaged in a constant battle between good and evil. When she is magically transported into their world, she goes on a fantastic adventure.
Voice cast features: Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Beyonce, Chris O’Dowd, Pitbull, Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz and Jason Sudeikis
Directed by: Chris Wedge (“Ice Age,” “Robots”)
Bottom line: Beautiful 3-D animation coupled with a compelling story. The fantastic writing, and Wedge’s excellent execution, make this the best animated movie since “Rise of the Guardians.”

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Video Verdict: ‘Fast Five,’ ‘Scream 4,’ ‘African Cats’

Emma Roberts stars in “Scream 4,” a revival of director Wes Craven’s popular horror franchise.

This week’s home video releases are anchored by the latest entries to a couple well-known franchises.

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Video Verdict: ‘Daybreakers,’ ‘Legion,’ ‘Edge of Darkness’

Ethan Hawke, left, and Willem Dafoe star in the vampire drama “Daybreakers.”

This week’s new video releases include a police drama starring Mel Gibson and two thrillers steeped in the supernatural.

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